NZ Horse & Pony - - Cover Story -

Event rider Ginny Thomp­son is def­i­nitely her mother’s daugh­ter – Ginny and her mum Hazel are both beau­ti­ful rid­ers who have done a su­per job of pro­duc­ing many horses over the years. At one stage Ginny (24) and Hazel (55) were com­pet­ing at one-star level at the same time, but Hazel has now re­tired from event­ing to con­cen­trate on dres­sage.

These days, Ginny is a full-time event rider with a yard full of horses and a groom, while Hazel has re­claimed her life af­ter sev­eral years of be­ing Ginny’s main sup­port crew.

Scot­tish-born Hazel has al­ways rid­den; grow­ing up in Aberdeen, she was first plonked on a pony at the age of three by her horsey fa­ther Bert. Although she gave up rid­ing for a while to go nurs­ing, when she moved to New Zealand with her Kiwi hus­band, Bryan, horses soon crept into her life again. The young cou­ple bought 10 acres at Tau­paki, and had their three chil­dren in quick suc­ces­sion; Steph, Ginny and An­drew were born within three years.

The girls were both keen for ponies, but Hazel says she “to­tally wasn’t fussed” if they rode or not. And though el­der sis­ter Steph lost in­ter­est once she moved on to hacks, Ginny be­came in­creas­ingly com­pet­i­tive.

Her first hack, Johnny Suede, was a lazy lit­tle thor­ough­bred with a heart of gold, and with him she tasted her first na­tional suc­cess, win­ning the CCI* at the Taupo three-day event.

Hazel, mean­while, was be­com­ing much more se­ri­ous about her own rid­ing, though jug­gling three chil­dren and three-day event­ing wasn’t easy! Her top horse, Louisiana Roux, was “a lot flasher” than Ginny’s Johnny, but the pair each had much suc­cess at one-star.

Hazel says when she was com­pet­ing along­side Ginny, she didn’t used to get nearly so ner­vous about her daugh­ter set­ting off on cross-coun­try be­cause she

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